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The unintended: negative outcomes over the life cycle

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  • Wanchuan Lin
  • Juan Pantano

Abstract

We quantify the impact of abortion legalization on the incidence of unintended births. While underlying much of the literature on abortion legalization, this effect had only been approximated by previous work. We find a strong decline in the prevalence of unintended births. Moreover, we find that this decline is mainly driven by “pro-choice” women. We then propose an empirical strategy to recover the effect of being “unintended” on life cycle outcomes. We use the differential timing of abortion legalization across states interacted with the mother’s religion (which facilitates or hinders legal abortion take up) to instrument for endogenous pregnancy intention. We find that being unintended causes negative outcomes (higher crime, lower schooling, lower earnings) over the life cycle. Our paper provides an initial step towards quantifying this key mechanism behind many of the well-documented long-term effects associated with changes in reproductive health policy Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Wanchuan Lin & Juan Pantano, 2015. "The unintended: negative outcomes over the life cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 479-508, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:2:p:479-508
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-014-0530-z
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    Cited by:

    1. David de la Croix & Clara Delavallade, 2018. "Religions, Fertility, And Growth In Southeast Asia," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(2), pages 907-946, May.
    2. Fernanda Marquez-Padilla & Biani Saavedra, 2022. "The unintended effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders on abortions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 269-305, January.
    3. Mølland, Eirin, 2016. "Benefits from delay? The effect of abortion availability on young women and their children," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 6-28.
    4. Gábor Hajdu & Tamás Hajdu, 2021. "The long-term impact of restricted access to abortion on children’s socioeconomic outcomes," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-14, March.
    5. Wided Batat & John F. Tanner, 2021. "Unveiling (In)Vulnerability in an Adolescent’s Consumption Subculture: A Framework to Understand Adolescents’ Experienced (In)Vulnerability and Ethical Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 169(4), pages 713-730, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Abortion legalization; Unintended pregnancies; Fertility; Investment in children; J13; J11; I18;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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